Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Skateboard Parks On the Drawing Board

Red Lake and Ponemah to be Sites

 

The architectural drawing for the skate park at Red Lake

“Two new skate parks, one in Red Lake and another in Ponemah are on the drawing board and should be completed in 2012,” said Red Lake Tribal Chairman Floyd Jourdain, Jr. in his 2011 State of the Band address. “Red Lake has been all about basketball, we want to give youth other options.”

Back in June 2008, Red Lake Tribal Administrator Lea Perkins was working toward getting a skate board park for Red Lake and Ponemah. In order to promote interest in that idea, Perkins arranged for the APACHE Skateboards Team to visit Red Lake for a demonstration that summer.

“It was kind of a kick-off event”, said Perkins, “we hoped to have a park before now, but now it seem to be becoming a reality. Apache Skateboards is a professional American Indian skate board team who originate from the San Carlos Apache reservation in AZ, in addition to being a manufacturer of skateboards and equipment. “The skate team is much more than trick demonstrations, they promote healthy lifestyles, creative goal setting, education, and positive attitudes towards being native through skating.”

“There is much more to skateboarding that what might meet the eye,” Douglas Miles, San Carlos Apache and owner of Apache Skateboards said during the demonstration accompanied by an all native skate team of youths. “Skateboarding is non-competitive, it is a person versus themselves, it requires problem solving and use of space.”

When talking to Miles, one feels as though he could talk for hours about the positive aspects of skateboarding that most might never think of. “One has to think way ‘out of the box’, there are so many positive messages”, said Miles, “and this can lead to a positive feeling of oneself.”

Background on Red Lake Nation Skate Parks

According to Red Lake Economic Development and Planning Director, Sam Strong, “$750,000 has been budgeted for the design and construction of two skate parks located in Red Lake and Ponemah. The money will also cover the reconstruction of the exterior basketball courts in Red Lake.”

The approximate square footage for the Red Lake skate park is estimated at 10,000-15,000 square feet and 7,000-10,000 square feet for the Ponemah park.

“Our Economic Development and Planning team conducted meetings with local skateboarders,” said Strong, “we took a survey and came up with some good feedback. The overall consensus was to build a street/plaza style park, with one or two bowl-like elements. The skaters suggested looking to Black River Falls and Fargo skate parks rather than Bemidji’s park, which they thought was too compact with not enough room to roll around. Skaters also picked out images of skate parks with elements they liked.”

The planning team then contacted Douglas Miles of Apache Skateboard of San Carlos, AZ whom they consulted with regarding the concepts identified and a planning process. Miles team then, provided concept drawings and design.

Skateboarding Facts: (Provided by Red Lake Economic Development & Planning)

Benefits of a Professionally Designed Community Skate Park.

Social:

• Skate parks provide a physical activity for kids not interested in traditional team sports.

• Community skate parks provide a safe and challenging place for skaters of all levels to develop as athletes.

• Skateboarding and rollerblading are two of the fastest growing activities in the United States with more than 14 million participants.

• Public Skate parks help get kids "off the streets" and into a safe place. Without a public skate park, the kids are forced to play in the streets or parking lots.

• Creating a community skate park will help minimize damage skaters do to public and private property.

• A professionally designed and built skate park acts as an extension of the local skateboarders specific needs. The skaters build a sense of ownership by participating in design conversations.

• Public skate parks provide healthy activity for kids and help eliminate boredom and drug use. Youth addiction services have identified the most common reason for drug use is boredom.

Economic:

• Skate parks may help create the need for quality skateboard shops and develop new jobs.

• Skate parks may help create new skateboard teaching and instructional jobs. The community could set up skateboard lessons and camps to help teach beginner through experienced riders. This creates a winning environment for the skaters, instructors and community.

• A professionally designed skate park may attract visitors. If you have a good skate park, skaters will want to come and try it.

• A public skate park helps the community feel pride for the investment in youth and active lifestyles.

Health:

• Skateboarding is a healthy alternative to sitting around by keeping kids active and moving.

• Helps teach youth about independence and commitment.

• Provides an alternative for kids who are not into conventional sports.

• When kids get into skateboarding it provides them with something they can learn alone, with friends and anywhere.

• Skateboarding is highly physical and requires intense movement; as the skater begins to learn techniques, it helps develop self-esteem, confidence and pride.

• Personal growth and skateboard skill development can be achieved through the building of quality skate parks.

• The skate park serves as the laboratory and training ground where skaters can increase in skill level, expertise, confidence and ability.

Community:

• Skateboarding is unique compared to other sports because it can create connections between youth in various communities.

• Knowledge of new neighborhoods, reservations, tribes, skate parks, and cultures creates respect for new friends. This "bond of respect" occurs as a desire to search out new skate-able terrain and meet friendly skaters.

Creativity

Aerial view of the site for the new skate park for Ponemah

• Skateboarding as an industry is large and includes the design and manufacturing of various products: boards, trucks (axles) wheels, clothing and event footwear (skate shoes). The industry needs designers and artists for these products. The art of skateboarding can often times encourage kids who skate to enter these fields.

• The various media used to promote skateboarding are film, photography, writing, art and music. Skateboarders, in order to increase skill, study themselves using video cameras, photography and other digital imagery to study technique.

• The creative aspects of skateboarding are numerous and unending. Skateboarding can result in many different industries, mediums of expression and avenues for creativity.

 

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